The Perspective Paradox | In Conversation with Patrick Hughes
News / Meet The Artist

The Perspective Paradox | In Conversation with Patrick Hughes

15 Dec 2021

All eyes were on Patrick Hughes and his mind-bending 3D art works at Hang-Up HQ on November 25, when the gallery hosted a Q&A with the artist led by his friend, the former BBC correspondent Rosie Millard. Over the course of the evening, Hughes regaled guests with tales of his childhood and his time living at New York’s notorious Chelsea Hotel – as well as staging an impromptu recital of the surreal poem The Picket Fence by Christian Morgenstern, much to the audience’s delight.

Gallery manager, Laura, with the artist.

Gallery manager, Laura, with the artist.

Salvatore Scarpa

Rollercoastering between decades, subjects and countries during the hour-long conversation didn’t prove a problem for Hughes who, it emerged, still reads a book a day – despite a 60-year career and a prolific output. Perhaps being artistically hungry was partly to blame for his drive said the artist, as he touched on a cruel and dull childhood that had fuelled the idea of escape through work. Referencing his working class roots, he also questioned the motivations of some pop artists who repackage or repurpose mass market ideas to sell on to a sneering elite.

The conversation between Hughes and Millard certainly kept the audience captivated
The conversation between Hughes and Millard certainly kept the audience captivated
The conversation between Hughes and Millard certainly kept the audience captivated
The conversation between Hughes and Millard certainly kept the audience captivated

The conversation between Hughes and Millard certainly kept the audience captivated

Salvatore Scarpa

Hughes’s own work is democratic in terms of its subject matter – many of his pieces include instantly recognisable references to popular artists such as Banksy and Keith Haring in order to draw viewers in. Best known for his ‘reverspectives’, works on board with 3D additions which use forced and reverse perspective to create the illusion of movement, Hughes also caused a sensation during the 1970s with his iconic rainbow paintings which were sold in their millions on postcards.

Guests had the chance to experience the Perspective Paradox and speak to the artist himself.
Guests had the chance to experience the Perspective Paradox and speak to the artist himself.
Guests had the chance to experience the Perspective Paradox and speak to the artist himself.
Guests had the chance to experience the Perspective Paradox and speak to the artist himself.

Guests had the chance to experience the Perspective Paradox and speak to the artist himself.

Watch a moment of the talk where Hughes discussed 'Peggy'...

Both styles point to surrealist influences, a subject that Hughes touched on during the Q&A, referencing René Magritte in particular. These influences are evident in the limited edition print made to commemorate the event: Peggy features a clothes peg which seems to have come alive and be tightrope-walking along a washing line, rather than merely being pegged onto it as you might expect.

Hughes made the original of Peggy in the early 1960s, when he was one of the world’s first pop artists. His illustrious career in the intervening years – from an unexpected swerve from literature to art to the discovery of Hang Up via his friend Nancy Fouts – provided fascinating content over the course of the evening, and we hope he’ll be back soon to tell us more.

The audience including historian and author Diane Atkinson, Hughes' partner, at the end of the Q&A.

The audience including historian and author Diane Atkinson, Hughes' partner, at the end of the Q&A.

Salvatore Scarpa

Gallery director Ben with friends during the evening.

Gallery director Ben with friends during the evening.

Salvatore Scarpa

You can view all Patrick Hughes' works included in The Perspective Paradox below. Don't hesitate to get in touch with us to find out which works from our exhibition are available or to book an appointment to look around.

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